Heather’s Story | Young Marin Family Grateful for Pantry Food

November 23, 2017

Life’s not perfect – far from it at times – but you won’t hear Heather complaining about it too much.  She would much rather spend her time counting her blessings, like the time she spends with her two young children and her fiancé.  Unfortunately, sitting down for a family meal is a rarity these days.


Heather wakes up before dawn each morning so that she can get to work stocking candy machines at 5 am. She puts in a two-hour shift, then returns home, so her fiancé can leave for work. He has two jobs as a cook and works six days a week, twelve hours per day.

They hardly see each other, but it’s the only way the family can scrape by to pay the high cost of rent. Heather depends on the Food Bank pantry at the Ritter Center in San Rafael to feed her kids. “This is a life changer, and I think this place is keeping us alive,” she says. “It’s where I get the fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs that make up most of our food.”

This time of year is particularly hard time for Heather’s family because both the kids’ birthdays are in November and then Christmas is right around the corner. She wants to provide them the happiness of opening gifts. “I get them toys at the Goodwill,” she says. “They are young so they don’t know that they are used.”


No matter the situation, the Food Bank is ready to respond to the needs of participants, especially during the holidays.  We served fresh, nutritious food to over 32,000 households during the months of November and December of last year, and are on pace to top 33,000 households this year.

In spite of her hardships, Heather keeps a positive attitude. “When I look at our finances, it’s so stressful,” she says. “But life is too short, and I’m thankful for what we have. We aren’t going hungry, and I’m grateful to the Food Bank and its supporters for that.”

You can ensure that families like Heather’s have enough to eat everyday by making a cash donation to the Food Bank today.

Mayella’s Story | “It changed my life.”

December 20, 2016

Mayella is a Food Bank participant and pantry volunteer. This is her story.

“The first time I came home with a bag of Food Bank groceries, it was like a weight had been lifted. My husband and I could not find work, and it was by chance that a pantry volunteer overheard that we were going hungry. When she gave us food, it changed my life.

Today, I’m a volunteer at that same pantry because I want to give back to my community.

The holidays are extra special at the pantry: we put on music, and I bake cookies for everyone. I don’t have a lot of money, but I can bake, I can share, and I can give my time.

For my family’s holiday meal, my husband and I go fishing, and then I cook everything I get from the Food Bank. My kids go back to school and tell everyone they’ve had a holiday feast. They don’t know the stress it is to put food on the table. They’re just happy to have a big holiday meal. And that’s the way the holidays should be.

Thank you for helping make sure the Food Bank can give me and my family, and everyone who needs some help, a very special holiday.”